HESTA’s executive – investment execution and former chief investment officer, Rob Fowler, has announced his semi-retirement in July, sparking the creation of a new role to lead the fund’s investment execution.
The new role, head of investment execution, would oversee middle and back office functions of the investment team and facilitate closer partnerships between HESTA’s execution and investment management arms.
“A key focus of the role is on designing and implementing investment operating models, particularly as we look closely at our internal asset management capability,” CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson, to whom the new role would report, said.
“We are looking at significant systems implementations in the coming years to support the development of our investment approach and supporting innovation with world-class execution is vital.”
HESTA chief executive, Debby Blakey, used the announcement to pay tribute to the “enormous contribution” Fowler had made to the fund and its members.
“Rob was the second HESTA employee hired in our investments team and over many years he has made an amazing difference to the financial future of our members through delivering strong, long-term investment performance,” she said.
“Rob has shown incredible leadership and strategic foresight, spearheading the establishment of HESTA as a global leader in responsible investment.”
As part of this, Fowler pioneered the integration of ESG into the fund’s investment mandates and implemented total portfolio screens for tobacco and thermal coal.